Nurserydale Childcare Centre - 04/04/2014

1 Evaluation of Nurserydale Childcare Centre

How well placed is Nurserydale Childcare Centre to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Nurserydale Childcare Centre is a well established private service that provides full day and sessional education and care for up to forty-five children from infancy to school age. Children are catered for in two separate spaces and outdoor play areas.

The centre’s philosophy is to provide a home from home and opportunities for meaningful play.

The 2011 ERO report recommended that centre managers work with an external provider to help:

  • improve systems for self review and long-term planning
  • further develop assessment, planning and evaluation processes.

These remain areas for review and development. The ownership structure of the centre has changed over the past three years. The new owner uses her management skills to help ensure smooth centre operations and has appropriately appointed a qualified teacher, with professional expertise, to join the leadership team. ERO is confident that managers are now well placed to make the changes needed to improve the centre.

Resources have continued to be improved, and health and safety concerns identified by ERO have been addressed.

The Review Findings

Children and their families are warmly welcomed into the centre. The low teacher and child turnover enables teachers, children and families to get to know each other well. Relationships between children and with adults are positive. During free play children select their own resources and play happily with their friends. They play cooperatively and engage in imaginative play.

Teachers plan topics and a wide variety of activities that they believe will interest children. Programmes have some alignment with Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. To increase this alignment, particularly in the area for older children, teachers should reconsider the need for all children to engage in the formal activities that take place in group sessions. Managers also recognise that they should strengthen bicultural practices in the centre.

Teachers engage children in conversations that support their language development. A strong focus on reading, developing children’s love for reading and fostering early literacy skills is evident. However, the programme is too strongly focused on teacher directions, rather than on fostering children’s interests and promoting opportunities for them to make choices about their activities. Centre manages and teachers should engage in external professional development to improve their understanding of, and centre expectations for, better supporting child-initiated, sustained play. This professional development should help teachers to develop a programme that better reflects the centre’s philosophy.

Children up to the age of two are well supported in their learning and development in a separate, well resourced area. They have an appropriately furnished outdoor area that enables toddlers to be physically active and to explore the environment. Infants and toddlers are affirmed and nurtured in a calm environment. Care routines are undertaken with respect. Very good processes are in place to settle children as they move into the nursery area and to the over two area.

In the nursery area some teachers notice children’s interests and provide appropriate resources to promote their development and extension. These good practices could enable teachers to write learning stories from a child’s perspective. This change of perspective is likely to increase the focus on the child and the learning that takes place.

Centre managers have developed strategic and annual plans to guide centre operations. It would be useful to consider ways to specify more clearly how these plans will be achieved over time. The strategic plan should be aligned with the centre’s vision, annual plan, self review, teacher appraisals and professional development.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers and ERO agree that next steps for the centre include:

  • reviewing how well all programmes reflect best practice in early childhood education and how well they link to Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum
  • strengthening the documentation and evaluative aspects of self review to cover all areas of centre operations.

Centre managers have identified the need to review the performance management system for teachers to make it more improvement focused. They could:

  • differentiate appraisals for different teaching positions
  • undertake programme observations and provide teachers with documented feedback
  • incorporate the registered teacher criteria as part of the appraisal process.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Nurserydale Childcare Centre completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Nurserydale Childcare Centre will be in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

4 April 2014

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Birkdale, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 10 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 36

Girls 30

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā




Cook Island Māori

other Asian








Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements


Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

January 2014

Date of this report

4 April 2014

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

March 2011


Education Review

March 2010


Education Review

March 2007

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.